Friday, July 31, 2009

A Shade From the Heat

"You have been a refuge for the poor,
a refuge for the needy in his distress,
a shelter from the storm
and a shade from the heat. . ."
Isaiah 25:4 [emphasis mine]

I am such a wuss about heat in the summertime.

Really, I am. I usually just avoid the outdoors as much as possible if the mercury climbs much above, say, 85. If I have to go outside for more than a few minutes in the heat then I'm goin' prepared: water bottles (yes, plural), baby powdered (reduces sweating - TMI I know), and sunscreen slathered on my pitifully pale skin.

And even with all of that what's the first thing I do? Run for the shade.

Summer heat + me = sunburned, sweaty, tired and grumpy.

Isaiah 25:4 conjures up a powerful image then for me when it says that the Lord is a shade from the heat. Just as the summer season comes bringing its powerful heat, so too does the enemy come and turns up the spiritual heat for a season.

Whatever makes you sweat, whatever makes you uncomfortable. Sapping energy and leaving serious burns. Oh, the enemy knows how to bring the heat.

In those seasons this verse from Isaiah is a reminder to step into the spiritual shade of our Father. Let His presence provide relief from the heat, a place to renew energy and to escape the burns.

That's not to say the heat will disappear. After all, sitting under a tree in August doesn't exactly mean you can build a snowman. But there is a noticeable difference, yes? Shade makes the heat bearable.

And keep in mind, too, that just as the scorching summer gives way to the cool breeze of autumn a season of spiritual heat will eventually pass.

But it's okay to stay put in that cool spot. Your shade's not going anywhere.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


We've been thinking a lot on leadership around here lately.

Which got me to thinking. . .

What makes a good leader? What makes a not-so-great leader?

If you're like me then you know either one when you see it but it's hard to pinpoint exactly what makes them that way.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Not Normal

It was our first date in quite some time and we badly needed some uninterrupted conversation. Hence, why we were sitting in a parked car eating takeout rather than at a movie or a restaurant.

I was lamenting to my husband my disappointment over a certain set of circumstances. What I thought might be happening soon (involving returning to our hometown) looked like it would not be occurring.

My diatribe went on and on as honest spiritual questioning spilled out of my heart and mouth in what was probably the longest run-on sentence I've ever spoken.

Through my tears I declared, "Normal people don't do this."

"What do you mean?" my husband said.

"This. If normal people want to move, they move. If they want to stay, they stay. They don't wait around on signs and visions and words from on high."

And it was in that moment that I realized more tangibly than ever what it means to give my life to Christ.

No, I am not normal.

I am a Christ follower.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Name Calling

"Daddy . . . Daddy?"

The little searching voice belonged to a small boy down the aisle from us. Immediately recognizing the little one was lost my girls and I made a beeline his way. Too many things can happen too quickly in a big store. As a former teacher and now as a mother I tend to feel fiercely protective of any child in need. (I know most caring adults feel the same way.)

As I approached, his 5-year-old lip was quivering in an attempt not to give way to panic.

"Are you lost?"

The floodgate opened and a sobbing "Uh-huh" escaped from his mouth. I wanted to hug him, but I also realized I was a stranger to him.

All I could say was, "Oh, sweetpea! It's okay, let's go find . . ." and before I could suggest finding a salesperson to help us we heard, "Ethan?"

Those sweet little eyes lit up and he was off like a shot toward his no-longer-lost father.

How good it is, what relief, when someone who loves us calls our name . . .

But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel,
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!
Isaiah 43:1

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Joy? Really?

"Yeah, right."

Consider this a confession of my not-so-godly response earlier tonight to very God-ordained words:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds . . . James 1:2

I'm not trying to be disrespectful of God's word, just honest in my struggle. His words are difficult to internalize sometimes. Always truthful, always right, always needed. But still hard.

Anyone else been there?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Lessons recently learned around here:

-Chipmunks cannot swim

-Leftover peas from dinner + Mommy's empty drink cup + bathwater = "pea soup" from an enthusiastic pint-size chef

-Forgetting to clean out the cooler after a zoo trip is a bad idea

-Fruit flies are indestructible (see previous statement)

-911 still works from a disconnected phone line

[You just can't make this stuff up . . .]

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

In Case You Were Wondering

It dawned on me the other day that it's been a long time since I explained the title of this blog, Seeking the Morning.

When I started this blog I was walking through some dark valleys. We had miscarried some months before but I was still very much grieving. And in my ongoing battle, depression and anxiety were rearing their ugly heads more often and more ferociously. (Hmmm. That's hard to say but true.)

My night felt unending and I was literally seeking a spiritual morning. Even the smallest ray of light would seem significant in the dark. I think most specifically I was hoping for another child - that most tangibly represented an end to the night in my heart.

Thankfully, the Lord was gracious and did bless us with another beautiful daughter. But even as we discovered we were expecting I was beginning to realize my journey toward the "morning" was not over. It was taking on a new meaning - something not to be attained in a single event, but rather something to always strive after.

Psalm 143:8 says
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

I need word of the Lord's unfailing love constantly. The lies of the enemy are too deceiving, the society around us too confusing, my own heart too faltering.

If the morning is bringing word of this unfailing love, this truth in the midst of so much untruth, than that is what I want to be running after. Always.

So . . .

Seeking the Morning = Constantly desiring to hear and see the truth of God's unfailing love no matter the circumstance.

Just in case you were wondering. :-)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Pssst . . .

[Shhhhh. I don't think I'm supposed to be here today. I think I'm supposed to be taking the day off after my big 100 post marathon. But I can't stay away. Don't tell anyone, okay? Thanks. . .]

Sunday, July 5, 2009

100: I Made It!!!

Can a get a WOO-HOO???!!!!


I cannot believe this is post 100 of my challenge!!! I woke up this morning, realized I would be reaching my goal today and got the biggest grin on my face. What a great feeling!

While I learned quite a few things through this (not so) little process, the number one thing that comes to mind is this:

I had it backwards.

Before this, I would wait for the "big" idea and then write. The last 100 days forced me to reverse course and write whether or not I had an idea. (Sometimes this was pretty evident, as in the "blah, blah, blah" post . . .)

Please forgive me for saying this, as it sounds rather self-absorbed, but I feel like I learned I was stronger than I thought I was. More committed. More enduring. I realized that sounds a bit dramatic as I'm talking about writing a blog, not running a marathon. But in essence that's what it felt like to me. Carving out time every single day whether I felt like it, whether I really had time. Learning to be still and listen. Even if it meant plugging my ears to the literal noise all around me. (Mental note: Next house must have office. With soundproof doors. And walls. And a large supply of chocolate . . .)

Anyway, I do appreciate all the positive comments whether left in the comments here, in my email or in person. Thanks for taking a few minutes to read this little bloggy every now and then and for offering encouragement.

Sheesh. This is starting to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech . . .


I really have enjoyed writing daily and hope to keep it up (well, mostly every day) so I hope you stick around, too.

Now. I'm off to find some form of chocolate to celebrate. Feel free to eat some and celebrate with me! :-)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

99: Thankful

On this July 4th I am so thankful that the loud booms outside and lit up sky are due to fireworks and not bombs as in many places tonight.

I am grateful that the people congregating in the street this morning were there to cheer on a parade and not part of an angry protest.

What a blessing to live in a free nation. We get so used to saying that but when I ponder what the alternative is, my heart rejoices at the great privilege we have to live in this country.

Take a minute and truly thank the Lord tonight for your freedom . . . we are living lives with opportunities that others only dream about. Use them well . . .

Friday, July 3, 2009

98: Blah, Blah, Blah . . .

Blah, blah, blah, sick, blah, blah. Blah!


Blah, tired, blah, blah . . .blah.

Blah, blah, writer's block, blah, blah - blah, blah, blah.

Blah? Blah.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

97: Being Productive

Multitasking is second nature to most of us these days. We text while we eat while we chat on the phone while we check email while we . . . well, you get the picture. Especially as a mother of young children, doing only one thing at a time seems unproductive. Even while doing multiple tasks my brain is constantly pondering what's next on the list or what I could add to the list.

Tonight I stopped.



Our 5-month-old was not feeling so great (mean ol' toothies poking through) and was in an interesting mood. Not fussy, not hungry, not playful, not sleepy. She just wanted to lay on my chest and snuggle. I, of course, was happy to comply.

As we melted together on the couch, I pressed my cheek to her fuzzy little head and allowed her tiny fingers to explore my gigantic-in-comparison hand.

And the world stopped.

Dishes could wait. Laundry would still be there later. Email and blogs were suddenly quiet in their beckoning.

I found in that precious moment that in being "unproductive" I was making the sweetest memories of all.

And what could be more productive than that?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

96: Just For Fun

In case anyone's bored tonight and happens to have a stack of post-it notes nearby . . .here's an idea for you:

(I don't even want to think about how long it took him to line up all those sticky little notes just the right way - amazing!)